Edited by David Crowther and Linne Lauesen
Chapter 21: Focus groups in social accounting as a stakeholder engagement tool
The social reporting process occurs in several phases that can include stakeholder engagement practice. When an organization decides to follow this path, the inclusion of these subjects is a pivotal element to consider in the definition of both stakeholder map and the features of the subsequent social report. This research focuses on how stakeholders can be involved, through a focus group, at the start of the reporting process. The case of Sirio, an international nonprofit organization with more than 2,000 members, is considered in order to describe the features and management of focus groups as a stakeholder engagement tool in Sirio’s social accounting process. This study also presents the strengths and potential weaknesses inherent in this research path, describing the steps that should be followed in the construction of a focus group and offering guidance on the behavior that researchers must exhibit before and during group meetings. It is hoped that this research may be a valuable guide for researchers who decide to follow the reporting process as an external auditor or a person involved in the process itself.
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